AI acceleration solution alone dramatically increases AI service capacity without the need to build additional server
The company secures global competitiveness in AI technology with the development and commercialization of AIX (AI Inference Accelerator)
Global market for AI acceleration solution forecasts to grow fast with a wide range of application areas including AI secretary service, CCTV, etc.
AIX expects to open new horizon for AI service by realizing superb AI service quality and reduced operating costs
Seoul, South Korea, June 21, 2018 – SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM) today announced that the company has successfully developed AI acceleration solution called ‘AIX (AI Inference Accelerator)’ and applied to the data center infrastructure of the company’s AI service ‘NUGU.’ The solution increases AI service capacity by five times. With that, SK Telecom became the first domestic company to deploy AI acceleration solution to a commercialized service.
SK Telecom’s AI acceleration solution improves AI computing speed, allowing high-quality AI service to reach as many customers as possible. AIX is a palm size, card-shaped accelerator that can be installed to the existing AI server inside NUGU’s data center infrastructure to enable 20 times faster computing of deep-learning technology.
The number of AI technology users has been growing recently and related services have also been emerging, ranging from finance, security, shopping to self-driving and web searching. This gave rise to an exponential amount of data companies have to collect and process for their AI service. But there are limits to the existing server.
SK Telecom’s AI Inference Accelerator can increase overall AI service capacity by about 5 times compared to the past without the need to build additional servers. What’s more, it has 16 times better energy efficiency compared to the GPU (graphics process unit)-based acceleration solution; this in turn, helps reduce the operating cost of data center infrastructure.
Since launching NUGU, the country’s first AI service, in 2016, the company applied it to various devices including GPS navigation device, kids’ phone, set-top box and so forth. Due to the expanded service utilization, in the first quarter of this year, NUGU’s MAU (Monthly Active User) surpassed 3 million -- a dramatic increase from 110,000 users from last August -- and the number of AI service areas has also been expanding rapidly.
Recognizing that AI service is spreading at a rapid speed, SK Telecom took an initiative in developing AI acceleration solution that improves service quality after nearly two years of research and development. It has successfully completed both the solution development and commercialization processes that include ▲Hardware & software architecture ▲Solution optimization and ▲Application to commercialized cloud service.
According to a March report by U.S. market intelligence firm Tractica, the global AI chipset market is expected to worth $66 billion by 2025. Global firms such as NVIDIA, Google and Microsoft have already been actively engaging in the development and commercialization of AI acceleration solution.
There are numerous AI areas where AI acceleration solution can be utilized. When it is applied to AI’s secretary service server, response time will be greatly reduced, which can help simultaneously manage as many customers as possible. CCTVs can also analyze videos of extended areas more precisely, making timely emergency response attainable.
Following the successful commercialization of AI acceleration solution, SK Telecom aims to develop the next-generation model that can further enhance AI computing speed and energy efficiency with more application versatility.
“We have secured global competitiveness in AI technology by successfully developing AI acceleration solution capable of improving service performance and reducing operating costs,” said Park Jin-hyo, EVP of ICT R&D Center at SK Telecom. “Starting with the commercial deployment of AIX to SK Telecom’s AI service, NUGU, we will gradually expand its adoption to various AI applications so that our customers can benefit from the improved quality of services.”